Tuesday 30 November 2021
The ocean absorbs heat
Global heating drives peripheral flow
According to researchers, climate change could weaken the Gulf Stream, which brings mild temperatures in Germany. A US team has now analyzed a wider ocean current. It seems to be speeding up.
According to a team of researchers, global warming is accelerating the massive ocean current around Antarctica. The reason for the acceleration of the so-called polar current is that large ocean regions absorb a large part of the heat caused by humans, writes researchers led by Jia Ruishi of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla (California) in “Nature Climate Change” magazine. The researchers analyzed the evolution of this stream with the help of satellite data and buoys from the Argo software. They are distributed in all oceans and can sink to a depth of 2000 meters and then rise again.
Oceans are lagging behind Information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) So far, more than 90 percent of the extra heat from man-made climate change has been absorbed. This limits global warming. However, this makes the water warmer and expands, which contributes to rising sea levels. Additionally, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, oceans contain 20 to 30 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, which makes their waters more acidic.
The polar current always flows to the east around the southern continent and thus connects the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. It is considered a global conveyor belt that influences heat transfer and material cycles in all oceans. The researchers wrote that water north of the stream absorbed man-made heat and heated more than water in and south of the stream itself. Therefore, the temperature difference increased at the ocean current – a factor that always causes ocean currents to accelerate. In particular, the northern part of the river accelerated.
Temperatures play a crucial role
“The circumpolar current is primarily driven by winds, but we have shown, surprisingly, that the change in velocity is mainly due to a change in the temperature gradient,” says co-author Lynn Talley, of the Scripps Institute. According to the researchers, the westerly winds in the region, which are also intensifying due to climate change, play an additional role. The team wrote that continued ocean warming could increase the speed of the ocean current.
Just this year a team from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven reported that electricity flows especially quickly during warm periods. Among other things, she analyzed a 14-meter drill core with sediments deposited over the past 140,000 years. This gave the researchers information from the last ice age, which began 115,000 years ago and ended 11,700 years ago, and also from the last warm period. Chat result Nature Communications magazine Study Introduction: During the last warm period the ocean current was faster than it is today.
“At the peak of the last warm period of 115,000 to 130,000 years ago today, the average was 1.5 to 2 °C warmer than today. The ocean current could thus accelerate in the context of future global warming,” says author Frank Lamy. This will have far-reaching implications for the climate. The polar current forms other oceanic currents such as the Gulf Stream, helping to define the climate in northwestern Europe.
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